Skip navigation

Tag Archives: aperol

Las Vegas, NV – February 23, 2013

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a trade show in Las Vegas week before last.  It was a fun and busy 4 nights between the show, customers, peers.  Of course, I did find time to have a little fun as well, like the night I ended up at the Foundation Bar at the top of the Mandalay Bay hotel.

I did have one interesting cocktail while I was there.  This was an original creation of one of the bartenders at the Eyecandy Lounge, located right on the casino floor at Mandalay Bay.  It was a rare quiet moment at the bar and we were able to chat a bit.  He calls this the Sunshine Sour, and it’s kinda’ a mash up of the tequila sunrise and a whiskey sour. 

It starts with Finlandia grapefruit vodka.  If you know me you know that I am not a fan of flavored vodkas.  However, I’ve had the Finlandia grapefruit before and it is very, very good and one of the few flavored vodkas that I do like.  Added to the Finlandia is orange juice, sour mix and a splash of Aperol.  The use of Aperol really caught my eye since you don’t see too many bartenders playing around with it.  It added a nice, bitter undertone to all the sweet in the drink and really rounded it out.  I enjoyed this one thoroughly and am going to try to recreate it here at the Twilight Lounge.  All I need to do is get the vodka and Aperol!

Cheers!

Granville, OH – February 7, 2012

I figured I needed to get this post up ASAP.  The last time I was in Granville and had a great cocktail that I wanted to post I never quite got arounjd to it…and then the place went out of business.  I definately do not want Emily George’s Bella to suffer the same fate!

Bella has always had a good selection of base spirits and a few original recipe cocktails on the menu.  However, when I perused the bar last night after arriving I couldn’t help but notice the bottle of Aperol sitting there.  Now, that’s a liqueur you don’t see in any ‘ol bar (heck, I don’t even have it at the Twilight Lounge!).  So I asked the bartender what she made with it…and the answer was, I’ll have to ask Emily.

A few moments later Emily George, appeared at our table.  As we talked it quickly became apparent that she knew her stuff.  After she got an idea of what I liked she suggested a cocktail that was similar to a Manhattan in construction, but totally different in ingredients.  She didn’t have a name for it, so I’m going to call it the Bella.  Two parts Appleton Dark Rum, 1 part Aperol, a dash of Fee’s orange bitters and garnished with a flamed orange peel.  And it was fantastic!  The familar and tropical flavor of the Appleton, with its sweet, cane sugar overtones was the perfect foil for the somewhat bitter Aperol.  The Fee’s orange bitters (always a favorite) pulled it all together in perfect package.  This is a quintessential cocktail – simple, to the point and great flavors!

As we got to talking I learned that Emily is quite accomplished.  She asked me if I wanted to try something really new and I said sure…she left for a moment and came back with a pre release bottle of … well, I promised not write about it.  Let’s just say that I was impressed (for once) by a flavored vodka.

As dinner progressed I did a have second cocktail that was equally delicious, although in totally different ways.  Uncharacteristically, I did not record all the ingredients.  It did feature Barenjaker Honey liqueur and ginger beer with orange flavors as well.  I do love the ginger beer – so much more flavorful than ginger ale!  This one was served in a pint sized glass and was very refreshing – it would be perfect for those hot summer days poolside!

So, if you find yourself in Granville, OH, be sure to stop in at Bella for great food and even better cocktails!

Cheers!

Day 285, Cocktails 283, 284 & 285

Nothing like a trip to Bryant’s to get caught up!  Brother Mark and I (along with another of Mark’s friends) stopped by there not too long ago for a Men’s League night.  We were delighted to find Emily, Michael and Katie Rose behind the bar.  That always means good things are in store for us!

My first was an effort from Emily, and it was fantastic!  Named the Robin’s Nest (see the picture), she used Hendrick’s gin, Domaine de Canton liqueur, lime juice, rich syrup and muddled cucumber, salt and pickled ginger to create a dazzling mix of ginger and cucumber flavors.  The rich syrup is fuller and, well, richer – and is made with demerara sugar instead of the regular white sugar I use in my bar syrup.  This was an outstanding drink from Emily and if you walk ito Bryant’s and find her behind the bar you really need to try one of these.

Next up was a no name cocktail from Michael that he put together to satisfy my craving for something in rye and orange flavors.  His cocktail included Sazerac rye whiskey, Aperol, orange bitters and Lillet Blanc.  A very tasty cocktail, this one had just the right mix of sweet orange and floral flavors that complimented the Sazerac extremetly well.  I enjoyed sipping this one as we bantered with each other and the other patrons at the bar.

My last drink of the night was a Katie Rose effort, and she put together a fantastic effort.  Following up on my rye and orange inclination, she used Sazerac rye, Aperol, Punt e Mes, Cynar, Reagan’s bitters, Angostura bitters and lemon juice.  You would think between the bitters, Cynar and Punt e Mes that this would be a very bitter, difficult drink.  It wasn’t, though.  The Aperol helps sweeten it back up, counteracting the bitter flavor of the Cynar (which is a liqueur made from artichoke among other things) and the Punt e Mes, which is a bitter Italian vermouth.  The flavors in this cocktail are bold and strong, yet also work well together, creating a taste explosion in my mouth.  Well done Katie, especially considering she overcame a sprained thumb which made shaking painful for her.

If you are in Milwaukee and have not been to Bryant’s you really do need to try it out – you won’t be disappointed.

Cheers!